Off season ever producing garden? A possible reality or just fantasy.

Zotikos Hargrave
6 years ago

Hello all I am very excited to be joining this community!

I am an amateur hydro grower heading into my 3rd season, so far I've mostly done veggies and herbs but this season I wanted to move to fruits as well as a few exotics I enjoy on a regular basis that the grocery stores tend to have older stock of. My question is whether my plan is even plausible or if I've thought myself into a world of fiction which someone may come and kindly wake me from?

The goal is simple, produce constant fruiting bushes throughout the off season in an indoor grow environment with enough yield to sustain a single athletes weekly portions of those species.

The methodology includes staggering plants in an NFT based design so that different plants of different ages will be able to enter the system and produce at offsets allowing for continual harvest.

The equipment includes two home made NFT Z/S shaped towers, each has three branches from top to reservoir and holds 15 net pots of a 4inch diameter spaced 10 inches apart (4inch pvc was used in construction). A third NFT straight line just for greens, dutch buckets for my tomatoes and other veggies or large root requiring monstrosities, and individual pots for things like my figs.

The species I am interested in:

Fruits: Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, blackberries, Cherries (ground), figs, apricots, grapes, avocados, and Tomatoes.

Supplemental fruits I will purchase: Pomegranate, kiwi, citrus, pineapples all of which with the exception of Pomegranate can be purchased in bulk rather inexpensively year round.

Vegetables: Spinach, Arugala, Boston Greens, Peppers (Hot and bell), Sweet Potatoes, mushrooms, Cabbage, Broccoli, Asperagus, Beats, rapini.

Herbs and garnish: Too many to name, has it's own system.

Now obviously this is a rather exhaustive list! After doing a staggered
multi-green NFT hydro grow last year, and a seasonal strawberry one I
just have to say I'm hooked and I know self sustaining is always going
to be a very important aspect of my life. So please let me say I know
this is a lot of work, but I think the skills will be useful for my
entire life, and I want to thank all that contribute.

My plan was to use the two Z NFT towers for the majority of the berries, and for the vegetative state of most other plants. Leave a single tower constantly with veg phase nutes, and the second tower strictly for plants that are flowering or bearing fruit. Once a flowered plant has exhausted it's season I would then remove it and replace it with a plant from the vegetative side as per standard rotation and then allow it to flower while the other pots pick up the slack. These I would be tasking essentially to my Blueberries, Strawberries, Rasberries, Blackberries, and cherries.

For the remainder of the fruit: Figs are going to go in their own soil grow, I have a dwarf tree I purchased last year and it had good result so I will tend to it separately. Same goes for my dwarf avocado tree, and Apricots. My question pertaining to these is how regularly can I expect them to bear fruit throughout the year?

Grapes I will do a nice lattice with, I'm just not sure how to approach them or if it's worth it. From my understanding they can get quite out of control with ease. So I wasn't sure given the relatively low cost of them in market if it is worth doing on an indoor grow?

For tomatoes, bell and hot peppers I was going for dutch bucket set-ups. For these my real issue is maintaining fruit throughout the year, I'm just not sure how one would cycle the fruits? Or would I simply have to have more buckets with fruits in different stages? I've grown both tomatoes and peppers outside seasonally, but never indoor, nor tackling the year long harvest issue so I'm just at a bit of a loss.

For spinach, arugala, boston greens, cabbage, and broccoli with the exception of broccoli I've thrown these all on the same NFT line without any issue, usually get a nice fat guy after a month or so. I haven't grown broccoli the same but could I arguably introduce it on the same line and just let her rip? Same for the rapini?

Mushrooms I have a happy little terrarium growing many a mushrooms content in the corner. No aid needed, with two terrariums I am never out of mushrooms!

And the ones I have no idea what to do with: The asperigus and beats.

I know this was a long read, but any comments or contributions are highly appreciated. I hope to amass as much knowledge in this cranium as I possibly can this year and hopefully have a good system running fully sometime over the next 18 months. I know it will take a lot of work to get it perfect, but I am really excited for the adventure!

See you all soon!

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